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Transcription drives DNA replication initiation and termination in human cells

By Yu-Hung Chen, Sarah Keegan, Malik Kahli, Peter Tonzi, David Fenyƶ, Tony T. Huang, Duncan J Smith

Posted 16 May 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/324079

The locations of active DNA replication origins in the human genome, and the determinants of origin activation, remain controversial. Additionally, neither the predominant sites of replication termination nor the impact of transcription on replication-fork mobility have been defined. We demonstrate that replication initiation occurs preferentially in the immediate vicinity of the transcription start site of genes occupied by high levels of RNA polymerase II, ensuring co-directional replication of the most highly transcribed genes. Further, we demonstrate that dormant replication origin firing represents the global activation of pre-existing origins. We also show that DNA replication naturally terminates at the polyadenylation site of transcribed genes. During replication stress, termination is redistributed to gene bodies, generating a global re- orientation of replication relative to transcription. Our analysis provides a unified model for the coupling of transcription with replication initiation and termination in human cells.

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